The Stagecoach rebrand has broken cover overnight.
The red, blue and orange ‘beachball’ logo with italicised ‘Stagecoach’ name has been wiped away. In its place is a re-worked roundel which gives a nod to the ‘beachball’ variant. It is a more stylised tri-colour version with the three coloured segments appearing to have been designed to represent a wheel rather than a ‘beachball’ - although Stagecoach has never actually used the ‘beachball’ description at a corporate level. The ‘Stagecoach’ text is in a ‘normal’ style. The new logo uses different shades of blue and orange but also includes green. The green appears to be the same shade as used on the recently delivered tri-axle Enviro 400XLBs for the Cambridge Busway.
Supporting the new logo is a new livery, or rather a livery family. Details of the liveries have been kept under wraps but were launched overnight and include a standard version in white which includes all three colours from the logo palate. A further version of white with green relief is specifically for use where Stagecoach can demonstrate the environmental benefits of bus travel such as electric buses, Park & Ride services and routes like the Cambridgeshire Busway. The third variant, orange-based, will be used on longer-distance InterUrban routes.
Given the strong brand recognition, Oxford Tube will retain its current livery and brand and the Megabus operation has already benefitted from a brand upgrade.
The new liveries are expected to be applied to new vehicles and only during planned repaints to the existing fleet. That means that the existing Stagecoach livery could be around for many years to come.
The three vehicles used for the launch image are Stagecoach Yorkshire's Volvo B9R 53715 from Barnsley and 11.8m ADL Enviro 200MMC 26026 from Rawmarsh. The Enviro 400MMC is 11259 from Stagecoach Manchester at Hyde Road.
It would appear that Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 44007, with Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire is the first vehicle in UK bus to carry the new logo. The bus has also been half wrapped in a partnership with Story Homes for the new Cockermouth Town Service C1 C2 C3.
The application of the new logo to this vehicle suggests to us that vehicles in the existing Stagecoach livery will receive the new logo.
We are not aware yet whether the new livery/brand proposition will allow additional route branding but we believe that local brands, such as the Citi brand in Cambridge and Peterborough will be discontinued. Indeed recent vehicle repaints at Cambridge have seen the Citi logo ditched in favour of the Stagecoach logo.
Stagecoach has issued more information including details of a specially-liveried vehicle to launch the new brand, which we reproduce here:
Stagecoach, the UK’s largest bus and coach operator, has unveiled a brand new look for its iconic buses, shaped by the needs of customers it proudly serves across the UK, every day.
The new bus design is part of a wider commitment from Stagecoach to simplify, modernise and enhance its customer experience, whilst reaffirming the customer-first approach that runs through everything it does - from its drivers and buses, to its customer service and technology solutions.
When conceiving the new bus design, Stagecoach asked thousands of customers to share their thoughts on how the new design could serve them best, and what would encourage them to use public transport more regularly.
The findings highlighted that 69% of customers often found it confusing to find the bus they wanted, with a further 37% stating they would use the bus more often if it was simpler and more modern.
Taking on board feedback from customers, the bus operator created a new simplified and clearly colour coded design for its various bus services to make it easier and instantly recognisable for passengers to identify their required service, representing the three different types of journey; Azure blue for its Local service, Amber yellow for Longer, and Ocean green for Specialist.
Stagecoach has also restructured the way its services are classified to make it easier and more clearly differentiated for customers to identify which service they require. The new changes across Stagecoach services embody the company’s commitment to being proud to serve all of its current and new customers, representing the important role it plays in connecting people to the people and places that matter most.
Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive, Stagecoach: “We are proud to serve our customers and connect communities across Britain, and our research shows more people will get on board the bus if it’s simpler to use. Our new look design and the multi-million-pound investments we are making in greener buses, smart technology, and better journeys is designed to give our customers exactly what they want.”
To celebrate the arrival of the new look bus design, Stagecoach created a special one-of-a-kind mosaic bus livery, featuring the faces of customers, drivers and communities from across the 11 regions of the country served by Stagecoach. This has been applied to Stagecoach North East’s Enviro 400MMC 11501.
The images featured on the special one-off bus were selected from a year-long photography project commissioned by Stagecoach, with photographer Stuart Roy Clarke travelling across the UK to capture the spirit, individuality and personalities of the people and communities that the iconic bus serves every day.
Aislin Smith, 17, Student, from Glasgow, who features on the special bus livery, “I have always found Stagecoach buses easy to use, especially for someone who has a less visible disability like myself. I think it’s great that there is a continued commitment to making the buses easy to use for customers, it’s something that has helped me have more freedom and flexibility in my life. It’s pretty cool to be featured on the very first of the new buses.”
With a further commitment to modernising and simplifying its customer experience, Stagecoach has kickstarted the biggest roll-out of the technology by any bus operator in Britain. This includes the introduction of the Stagecoach bus app, featuring a new online travel-planning tool that provides customers with real-time tracking of their bus service on an interactive map, and contactless payment facilities cover all of Stagecoach's vehicle fleet.
Stagecoach is investing more than £13m in one of the biggest orders of new electric buses in Europe, as part of a drive to provide a more sustainable transport solution to the people and communities it serves. By the end of 2020, it will have more electric vehicles than any other major UK bus operator.
Martin Griffiths added, “We are modernising and simplifying our products and services to make bus travel the smarter, easier choice. Over the next year, our customers across the country will start to see new innovations and intuitive changes to their Stagecoach services, which we hope will bring greater ease of use to all journeys.”
This year marks 40 years since the birth of Stagecoach. It has come a long way since 1980, from humble beginnings, starting with just two buses in Perth, Scotland, and growing dramatically to become the UK’s largest bus and coach operator. Today, Stagecoach serves over 2.5 million passengers a day, playing a vital role in keeping people and communities connected across the country.
The new bus design will be rolled out across the fleet of 8,400 buses over a three-year period, with customers seeing the first buses on the road from February. The one-off special bus of the people livery will go into service in the North East from today.
Stagecoach’s instantly recognisable ‘roundel’ icon, a familiar sight on the British road for two decades, has been rejuvenated, modernised and simplified and will be universally adopted across everything that the bus operator offers, representing the three different types of journey. These include:
Local buses – these are everyday community buses with strong local connections that take people to work, education, hospitals, leisure activities with friends and family and life’s important moments.
Longer distance – buses with added comfort and value for customers that need to take a bus beyond the place they live.
Specialist – these are specialist services built for purpose – for drivers who need to park their car outside of town and use park and ride services, university students who need a lift to class and tourists who want to go sightseeing around the country
Stagecoach Group has confirmed to Steven Knight Media that the company is actively “developing (vehicle) interiors to incorporate our new brand identity and create the right environment for our customers when they travel with us”.
The company has also clarified how the new logo will be used on vehicles. A company spokesperson told us that the new logo will be used “mainly as vehicles are repainted, and also be on all the new vehicles being introduced.
There are no immediate plans to replace staff uniforms with Stagecoach confirming that: “Our current uniform contract is up for renewal this year and as part of that process we will review our uniform in line with our new brand identity”.
Stagecoach has said that the new logo will only be applied to new vehicles and upon normal scheduled repaints of the existing fleet. Application of the new logo to the existing livery (and this is our own image mock-up of what it might look like) are not expected to take place. (c) Steven Knight Media